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Movie Review: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Birds of Prey

If you go into Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) thinking it’s fanfic brought to life along with subpar cosplay costumes, cheesy dialogue, and gross misinterpretation of some of DC”s most iconic characters, then yes, the movie was good. If you go into the movie, thinking it should ONLY be called “The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” or simply “Harley Quinn” instead of “Birds of Prey,” then yes, this was a good movie. If you are able to divorce the fact that you have been a fan of this particular comic series since 1998…if you are able to ignore the fact that there is no freakin’ Barbara Gordon as Oracle (you may remember her as the original pre-“New 52” Batgirl)…then yes, it was a good movie.

But let’s not call it “Birds of Prey”.

Sure, sure. I am aware of how they restructured the fan-favorite comic. I recall vaguely Harley Quinn is a member of the “New 52” version of the Suicide Squad. To be honest, I’m not sure how she ended up associated with Birds of Prey. Maybe when Poison Ivy, her bestie, joined the team? IDK. Even more reason for this movie to have its own title to focus solely on Harley Quinn. Because let’s face it: it was all about her emancipation and a motley crew of DC’s anti-heroines who were just along for the ride. And with all the said, I really enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would!

I don’t know what it was, but Margot Robbie seemed cooler as Harley Quinn than she did in Suicide Squad (which incidentally does not come anywhere close to how entertaining Birds of Prey was). She literally had me laughing out loud within the first few minutes especially when she was like “I’m telling the story the way I effin’ want to!” The more obvious attempts at humor like the Cheez Whiz and her getting super drunk or buying a hyena named Bruce was cute, but that didn’t tickle my funny bone. The more subtle humorous scenes made me bray like a donkey. Liiiike Harley jumping onto the driver’s legs, breaking them, then sitting on his lap and correcting him, telling him she has a Ph.D. (okay so maybe that was not meant to be subtle) or when she held the water with the huge cucumber in the bottle. But honestly, it was the egg sandwich with the possibly expired cheese that did it for me. Real tears. Y’all, she had real tears. And can I just say I literally exclaimed “yasss” EVERY TIME Harley was tearing up those kneecaps with aluminum baseball pats and sledgehammers? She was poetry in motion; violent gory poetry. And the lighter…! We got a chance to see her vulnerable side that finally sold me on Margot Robbie’s take on this hilarious epic character. The “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” scene had me hype. So well done.

The rest of the cast was a mixed bag of nuts. And not the good kind.

I’ll start off with this: I am NOT a fan of when they change the ethnicity of a particular character. Especially ones you’ve grown up knowing and loving. With that said, I was not a fan of Jurnee Smollett-Bell being cast as Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black effin’ Canary. But what can you do, right? Also, I was not a fan of the changed origin. But I will give credit where it is due. Jurnee did a good job and the way she kicked some ass was reminiscent of the Black Canary I know and love. I mean, who else can fight like that while wearing stylish tight as hell pants? And she really can sing!

“They call me…Ramona Flowers”. Let me stop, haha. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, Helena Bertinelli has been a fave of my since my teens so seeing her on the screen was nice. It would have been nicer if she actually, I dunno,  resembled her comic book counterpart? How are you going to go around assassinating people while wearing a Missy Elliot garbage bag poncho and no mask? She was like a lazy cosplayer. I’m sure the comic book version would have used the crossbow on the movie version. I must admit, she does redeem herself. Just a little too late.

Rosie Perez’s Renee Montoya actually surprised me. She was gritty, oddly funny, and true to character. She put me in the mind of Renee’s journey of redemption in 2006’s much-lauded “52” series. I actually sighed with relief when the movie touched on one major part of her character growth. And yes, that tied to the “52” book. I won’t say what it was. I won’t spoil. I’m not a savage. And may I add that Rosie Perez still looks amazing? She was certainly “fighting the power” in this movie. But there was no dancing like in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”.

And then there’s Cassandra Cain played by Ella Jay Basco. Cute kid. She was your average Forever 21 shopper specializing in early 90’s fashion. Like I said: cute kid. Only the Cassandra Cain we know used to run around in a featureless snitched Batgirl mask and kick some serious ass. We got none of that in this movie! She was a liability throughout the entire movie. If she was not so integral to the plot (stay with me) I would have dragged her by her arm cast to No Man’s Land myself.

Now for the “Big Bad”: Roman Sionis/Black Mask portrayed by the truly versatile Ewan McGregor. He was actually a delight to watch on screen. He was funnier than Jared Leto’s Joker without even trying. I loved his sense of style and his BDSM-esque art involving the black mask was appropriate. Also, I’m positive Chris Messina’s Victor Zsasz was secretly in love with him. He kept saying “eww” and “kay” which was hilarious. But honestly, McGregor has always had the singular talent of becoming whomever he played in a movie. This experience was no different. Birds of Prey is the better for it.

The film didn’t deserve the measly $33 million it grossed opening weekend. As stated before, I so thoroughly enjoyed the insane hijinks of this wildly unpredictable, satisfying, but fanfic-y take on Birds of Prey. I was prepared to go into this movie hating it, but it had the opposite effect. The non-linear storytelling, overall fun and engaging characters, and the fantastic fight scenes (especially when Harley was fighting solo) was something right up my alley. The camaraderie and sense of sisterhood and women empowerment was unmistakable and I’m totally here for that! I would love to see a sequel or spin-off movies. It’s deserving of that. Also, is there a post-credits scene? Yes and no. Go check it out. And let me know what you thought, puddin’.

Preview: Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1 (of 4)

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1 (of 4)

(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti (A/CA) Amanda Conner
In Shops: Feb 12, 2020
SRP: $5.99

DC Black Label Prestige Plus 8.5″ x 10.875″

The creative team that transformed Harley Quinn forever returns to shake up her world once more-and this time, the gloves are off! Harley Quinn has avoided Gotham City ever since she broke up with The Joker and found a home, and a kind of family, in Coney Island. But when she gets an offer she can’t refuse, she has no choice but to slip back into the city as quietly as she can, hoping to be gone before anyone – especially her ex – learns she’s been there. But for Harley, “as quietly as she can” is plenty loud… and before she can say “Holee bounty hunters, Batman,” The Joker’s sicced every super-villain in the city on her pretty ombré head-and the only team tough enough (or crazy enough) to come to her defense is the Birds of Prey! The foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred sequel to one of DC’s raciest runs is here! Get on board early, before we come to our senses!

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1 (of 4)

Cryptozoic Raises Money for World Central Kitchen to help the relief effort in Puerto Rico

Cryptozoic believes in helping their local, national, and international communities whenever they can. So, as 2020 kicks off, they have put together a Charity Fundraiser featuring auctions of rare Harley Quinn collectibles signed by Paul Dini, co-creator of the character.

Proceeds will be donated to World Central Kitchen, which has been helping Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria in 2017, making sure residents get hot meals as part of their #ChefsForPuertoRico movement. The charity has been on the ground helping relief efforts after the massive earthquakes in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

  • Charity auctions of Harley Quinn collectibles signed by Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini
  • Proceeds go to World Central Kitchen to help the relief effort in Puerto Rico
  • Extremely limited quantities of rare and popular collectibles, including:
    • Golden Goddess Harley Quinn Artist Proof figure (DC Bombshells: Series 1)
    • Harley Quinn Queen of Diamonds Exclusive figure (DC Bombshells: Series 1)
    • Harley Quinn Red, White, and Blue Edition figure (DC Bombshells: Series 1)
    • Golden Goddess Harley Quinn figures (DC Lil Bombshells: Series 2)
    • Harley Quinn DC Bombshells: Series 1 figures
  • All items are signed on the packaging
  • All auctions will be one week in length
  • Visit this page to the auctions on Ebay.

Preview: Harley Quinn #70

Harley Quinn #70

(W) Sam Humphries (A) Sami Basri (CA) Guillem March
In Shops: Feb 05, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Harley’s Los Angeles adventure takes an unexpected turn when she joins up with an underground wrestling troupe! With her penchant for drama, violence, and over-the-top behavior, Harley Quinn fits right in with her new group of friends, but when one of them winds up dead, Harley must track down the killer…before they strike again!

Harley Quinn #70

Get a First Look at Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1

Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art and Cover by Amanda Conner
Color by Paul Mounts
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020

The creative team that transformed Harley Quinn forever returns to shake up her world once more—and this time, the gloves are off!  Harley Quinn has avoided Gotham City ever since she broke up with The Joker and found a home, and a kind of family, in Coney Island. But when she gets an offer she can’t refuse, she has no choice but to slip back into the city as quietly as she can, hoping to be gone before anyone—especially her ex—learns she’s been there!

But for Harley, “as quietly as she can” is plenty loud…and before she can say “Holee bounty hunters, Batman,” The Joker’s sicced every super-villain in the city on her pretty ombré head,and the only team tough enough (or crazy enough) to come to her defense is the Birds of Prey! The foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred sequel to one of DC’s raciest runs is here! Get on board early, before we come to our senses!

“Jimmy and I are so looking forward to this project,” said Conner. “I’m excited to be co-writing it, but it’s been some time since I’ve been able to draw interiors, so I’m doubly excited. Harley is a blast to write and draw; throw the Birds of Prey into the mix and it’s even more fun. And since this will be a mature readers title, we’ll do our best to get away with as many shenanigans as possible!”

“Amanda and I are super excited to be creating this new series for DC,” added Palmiotti. “We’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to let loose on a project with a no-holds-barred Harley story where we revisit Harley’s supporting cast and take her on an adventure back to Gotham. Teaming up with the Birds of Prey, Harley will turn all their worlds upside down—exactly how she likes it. Working with Amanda on the art and storytelling has been a blast so far and this book will be like nothing we have ever done before.”

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, hitting shelves March 4th and shipping bimonthly in DC’s Prestige Plus format, will retail for $5.99 and will carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1

Birds of Prey Gets a Second Trailer

With less than a month to go, Birds of Prey has gotten a second trailer giving us a better idea as to what we can expect. Gotham’s worst brings out their best. Meet Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain.

You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.

Margot Robbie returns as Harley Quinn, alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress; Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary; Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya; Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz; and Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis. Newcomer Ella Jay Basco also stars as Cassandra “Cass” Cain in her feature film debut.

Directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson, the film is based on characters from DC Comics.

Birds of Prey is in theaters February 7, 2020.

Preview: Harley Quinn #69

Harley Quinn #69

(W) Mark Russell (A) Sami Basri (CA) Guillem March
In Shops: Jan 01, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Harley Quinn is great at kicking jerks in the face. Paying her taxes? Not so much. Things turn from bad to worse when Harley’s new accountant, an ex-con called the Hambezzler, runs into trouble with his old crew and they come to Coney Island with one thing on their minds: payback!

Harley Quinn #69

McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse Revealed

McFarlane Toys, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and DC, have revealed images and details of the highly anticipated new DC Multiverse collector figure line by McFarlane Toys, available in both mass and specialty retailers beginning January 2020.

The new DC Multiverse collector line features incredibly detailed 7-inch figures designed with an impressive 22 points of articulation. Each figure comes with a collectible card that has character-specific art and biography, multiple accessories, and a display base. MSRP is $19.99 to $24.99 USD for each figure.

The first wave of figures includes:

Batman: Detective Comics #1000

  • Batman figure based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Batman accessories include Grapnel Launcher and Batarang

Batman: Detective Comics #1000
Variant Chase

  • Batman figure based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Batman accessories include Grapnel Launcher and Batarang
  • Showcases a different chest emblem as homage to the Classic Batman

Superman: Action Comics #1000

  • Superman figure based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Superman accessory includes a flight stand for 360-degree aerial figure posing

Batgirl: Art of the Crime- Part of a 3-figure collector set -Batgirl, Nightwing, and The Batman Who Laughs – that includes a piece of a buildable Batmobile featured in the DC Rebirth comic books.  Each figure sold separately. 

  • Batgirl figure based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Batgirl accessories include Grapnel Launcher and Batarang
  • The Build-A-Batmobile features rolling wheels and is 7 inches in length when fully assembled

Nightwing: Better Than Batman – Part of a 3-figure collector set – Batgirl, Nightwing, and The Batman Who Laughs – that includes a piece of a buildable Batmobile featured in the DC Rebirth comic books.  Each figure sold separately. 

  • Nightwing figure based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Nightwing accessories include two Escrima sticks
  • The Build-A-Batmobile features rolling wheels and is 7 inches in length when fully assembled

The Batman Who Laughs – Part of a 3-figure collector set – Batgirl, Nightwing, and The Batman Who Laughs each includes a piece of a buildable Batmobile featured in the DC Rebirth comic books.  Each figure sold separately. 

  • The Batman Who Laughs figure is based on the DC comic book series Dark Nights: Metal
  • The Batman Who Laughs accessories include a Knife and a Sickle
  • The Build-A-Batmobile features rolling wheels and is 7 inches in length when fully assembled

Batman: Batman the Animated Series

  • Batman figure is based on the iconic style of Batman the Animated Series
  • Batman’s accessories include a Grapnel Launcher and Batarang

Superman: Superman the Animated Series

  • Superman figure is based on the iconic style of Superman the Animated Series
  • Superman’s accessories include a piece of bent steel
  • Includes bonus pair of alternate fists

Green Lantern: Justice League

  • Green Lantern figure is based on the iconic style of Justice League Animated Series Green Lantern’s accessories include a Lantern Willpower Projection Blaster, headset, and visor

Harley Quinn: Classic

  • Harley Quinn figure is based on the DC Rebirth comic books
  • Harley Quinn’s accessories include a Mallet and (Gag) Bang! Blaster

Green Arrow: Arrow

  • Green Arrow figure is based on The CW TV series Arrow
  • Green Arrow’s accessories include a bow with knocked arrow and quiver with bundled arrows

Superman: Unchained Armor

  • Superman Unchained figure is based on the DC comic book series of the same name
  • Superman features rotating posable wings that can extend the figure height to 9 inches tall and 10 inches wide (some assembly required)

Batman: Hellbat Suit

  • Batman (Hellbat Suit) figure is based on the DC comic book series Batman and Robin
  • Batman (Hellbat Suit) features articulated posable wings that can extend the figure height to 9 inches tall and 14 inches wide (some assembly required)

Bat-Raptor

  • Incredibly detailed vehicle based on The Batman Who Laughs’ Batmobile from the DC comic book mini-series The Batman Who Laughs
  • Designed to fit a 7-inch scale DC Multiverse figure
  • 8-inch width, and has a telescoping front end to extend vehicle to full 12-inch length  
  • Features rolling wheels

The first wave of McFarlane Toys’ DC Multiverse launches today with pre-orders at retailers around the globe. The DC Multiverse collector figures and related toys will be available at major retail locations beginning in January 2020 including Walmart, Target, Amazon, GameStop, BestBuy, and Walgreens.  

Holiday Gift Guide: DC Pawzplay

Iconic DC characters get the plush treatment with cute dogs and cats with DC Pawzplay!

Wave 1 includes Diana the Persian, Harley the Calico, Bruce the Doberman, and Clark the Husky.

Order one:

Amazon
Factory Entertainment
Entertainment Earth

Factory Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Holiday Gift Guide: Suicide Squad – Harley Quinn SWAT Good Night Bat

Channel your inner Harley Quinn with this recreation of her bat from Suicide Squad!

SWATs capture the fun of stylized fantasy weapons, but executed in soft, safe for work and play materials, with sounds specifically tailored to each piece.

Order one:

Amazon
Factory Entertainment
Entertainment Earth

Factory Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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